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Bolton Wanderers Lack of Midfield Balance

He's right too you know....

Clive Rose

Speaking after Bolton Wanderers' 2-1 away defeat that handed Neil Lennon his first loss as manager, the 43 year old Northern Irishman expressed his displeasure at what he sees as an unbalanced Bolton squad.

The former Celtic boss said:

Let's have a look at his predecessor, Dougie Freedman's central midfield signings then:

2012 Season

In 2012, he spent £750,000 on bringing Medo Kamara to the Reebok Stadium. The Sierra Leonean midfielder was excellent in his first few months, but has yet to hit the same heights.

He also signed Jacob Butterfield on loan from Norwich City, and Steve de Ridder from Southampton. The less said about those two the better.

Rob Hall from West Ham completed his midfield spending. Another who has yet to sparkle.

I make that two central midfielders and two wingers.

2013 Season

The following season saw the permanent signing of Hall, who joined along with Andre Moritz from Crystal Palace, and Jay Spearing on a £1.6m deal from Liverpool following his own loan spell.

Dougie also found reason to sign on loan both Liam Feeney and Liam Trotter, both from Millwall along with ex-Palace man Neil Danns.

The impact of all five was negligible, with perhaps only Danns leaving a positive impression. Another pointless move was the signing of Andy Robinson, but more on him later.

So for 2013 let's say we've got one winger in Feeney, and four central midfielders in Spearing, Robinson, Trotter and Danns.

2014 Season

Freedman was sacked by Bolton in October of the 2014 season, but before then he had brought in Trotter, Danns and Feeney on permanent deals.

These two came in alongside fellow loanee Robinson, who would soon be out of the door again in strange circumstances.

The final midfield signing of the Freedman era from Andy Hughes who was brought in as player/coach, primarily to help the Development Squad. Hughes would find himself on the bench from time to time when the need arose.

He couldn't resist a loan, and brought in Owen Garvan from Crystal Palace, and Australian Chris Herd from Aston Villa.

So again I make that just the three midfielder signed. He was obviously slacking.


So in his two years in charge, Dougie Freedman by my count signed nine central midfielders, and three wingers.

Unbalanced? You bet.

Looking at our squad, I count 19 midfielders (as per this link).

Of that 19 (nnnnnn nineteen), I count just four wingers. Lennon is dead right.